or the one sitting at the desk behind mine. I interrupt the blogging of my fabulous weekend with my 15 new BFFs at Walt Disney World to bring you my tale of woe regarding my husband.
Some of you have met him. Look at this face. It certainly SEEMS friendly enough…
But he’s evil and sadistic. Before I was accepted to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, I had decided I was way too busy to host a Christmas party this year. I am writing a lot more, I am working part time, and things around here were hectic enough with Jim gone all week long. But then Jim booked a Thanksgiving cruise. And then I got accepted to the Moms Panel. All of this seemed to confirm it was a GREAT idea NOT to host our annual Christmas party.
And then the man came out from behind the curtain, and the illusion of Silent Night, God REST ye Merry Gentlemen, What Child is This Who Lays to REST – gone. All of it. The conversation went something like this..
The crazy man – So, what would it take for you to put together a small party?
The rational thinking woman – The National Guard, 3/4 of a million dollars, Martha Stewart, and Divine Intervention.
The crazy man – So you can do it?
The rational thinking woman – (who, fortunately for the crazy man, is trying unsuccessfully to keep her eyes from twitching – this is fortunate for him because if they stop twitching long enough for me to see straight, I will likely grab a pair of dull kitchen scissors and stab him to death) – Yes I can do it, if you can help me get the house ready.
The crazy man – Okay then. I’ll go clean out my desk drawers! Let me know what day and time you need me to come upstairs to the party.
So, you’re all invited. Next Sunday. My house. Wear black, because you may very well be attending a wake. These eyes are bound to stop twitching at some point….
We have a long morning this morning, even after we are over the trauma of our first publicity event! Now comes an even more terrifying task – learning how to do what we’re all here to do!
I feel fairly comfortable on a computer, as long as all I really have to do is answer email, blog, and maybe upload a photo or two. Going into this, that may be all that’s required of us, and we’ll all live through the experience. If they start throwing those scary letters around – you know the ones – HTML, Excel, Work – I might have to rethink the whole plan!
Before we get started, those enormous gift bags that we put together in Cathy’s room last night are presented to our fearless leaders. I thought we might need a forklift to actually get them in the room, but hey, these are moms (and Doug) we’re working with here, and as all of you who are moms know, there are depths to our strength that can not be measured.
The computer training is not really that scary once we’re into things. It certainly seems like something we should be able to figure out on our own. We go over how to find the questions, how to answer them, and how if we’ve answered them incorrectly, it will go down in history as the single wrong answer that brought down the whole Moms Panel concept. Okay, maybe they didn’t say that exactly, but I know I certainly don’t want to get anything wrong!
During our computer training, a wayward musician stumbles into the room, seeking out a family party elsewhere. It turns out, this is Guitar Disney, a staple at the theme parks for his ability to whip up a song on the spot. My apologies for not taking a photo of Guitar Dan, but I was listening so intently to his song and laughing so hard that I forgot to pull my camera out! The song was about all of us and some secrets a little bird must have dug up on us all! This was the highlight of the computer training session!
We have a short break, during which we are given boxes and mailing labels so we can mail home our dirty clothes and fill our suitcases with gifts and souvenirs for our kids, and then we come right back into the training room. Tom gives us a talk on the media. I’m glad we’ve done this bit of training, although living where I live, just minutes from one of the highest crime cities in the nation and just outside of Philadelphia, I’m thinking the local media here might have more pressing issues. I certainly won’t mind doing interviews and talking to people – heck, I’m wondering how I get my own float in the Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s day or in the St. Patrick’s Day parade! – and I’m glad that I’m prepared even if I don’t hear from anyone.
After Tom’s presentation, Heather from the 2008 Moms Panel talked about handling negative comments and harsh criticisms. Let me put this out for all of you – it is my fat picture. These are pictures of me taken 1 week before my gastric bypass surgery.
If you think there’s a chance I haven’t already handled some of the worst comments and criticism human beings can hurl at one another, show me what ya got. I’ve got a come back for everything, and I know how to keep my mouth shut and let the ignorant hang themselves.
And the following photos are just to make me feel better after showing you my fat pictures, which I don’t usually put out there as advertisement.
Okay, now that my bruised ego is somewhat soothed, back to the training report!
So yeah, I think I’m ready for negative comments and criticisms, but I’m really sorry that anyone would be subjected to negativity, especially since the Moms Panel is really all about helping other people. It’s a shame that someone would react badly to an offer of help.
After Heather’s talk – which really deserves a standing ovation, because she has given us her presentation while nursing a terrible cold – it’s lunch time! If we get nothing at all out of this training, we are all certain to go home a few pounds heavier! They call this a working lunch, and I am hoping they mean by “working” we are going to have to eat our sandwiches while running on tread mills. Instead, there is a fabulous buffet with BY FAR the very best tomato soup I have ever eaten (did I mention that I loathe tomato soup?? I don’t know what was different, but this was mmm-mmmm good). During lunch, we are given a presentation by the people in charge of Disney transportation, and they very graciously answered a dozen or so questions posed about the transportation system. It’s a huge undertaking, and while I had never used a Disney bus until this trip, I have a whole new appreciation for Disney bus drivers.
When lunch was over, it was back to the training room for an absolutely phenomenal presentation on all of the wonderful ways available to help guests going to WDW to celebrate in the coming year! It is an understatement to say that Disney has really stepped up to the plate in terms of merchandise available to celebrate EVERYTHING this coming year! You want cake? They got it. You want mouse ears that reflect your personality? You can make them. You want pins with your name on them, and your name is Brighid, Eilis, or Granuaile? No problem! Just take a gander at some of the incredible items available for your happy Disney events:
We learned at this meeting that the gifts in our rooms the night before were part of the new celebration packages available for people to book for their special milestone events. My advice to people – bring an extra suitcase!